I was so saddened to learn that yesterday one of the most influential women in my life passed away. I met Clare when I was 20 yrs old. For some reason asked me to be a part of a play she was directing...Quilters. I had never before had a speaking part in anything, but she believed in me, and taught me, and showed me that I could do it. I fell instantly in love with her...as I imagine most people did.
The thing about Clare is that she truly took an interest in all of her students. I don't know what she saw in me, but I'm so glad she saw it. She gave me some of the best, most rewarding, enriching, esteem building, and growth inspiring experiences of my young life. All young girls should have such a mentor. She both gave me a voice and taught me to use it.
Today's photo is a gift Clare gave me after the closing of Hamlet. I was Ophelia and this necklace was a prop I wore in the play and the "remembrances" that Ophelia returns to Hamlet. I loved the necklace and was always amazed that I could wear it hours on end despite my intense nickel allergy. (I could never wear anything that wasn't 24k gold). I cherished the necklace and always admired it. It wasn't until after she gave it to me that I noticed the R on the charm. This was HER necklace. I was, and still am, enormously touched that she gifted it to little old me. She made me feel so special and loved.
I'm so sad that I never really expressed to her how much she meant to me. I hope she knew. I'm so sad that she is gone but overjoyed that I know there are little pieces of her floating all over this world in the many lives that she has touched. And today I can wear this little piece of her...this remembrance of her love, her joy, and her gift.
You can read more about Clare and see a photo of her at a fellow Clare lover's site.
Milk and Cuddles